The Rev. Fred Luter II of the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., is set to become the first ever African-American president of the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention, as he is so far the only candidate for the election in June.
The Southern Baptist Convention, which has long dealt with issues of race since splitting in 1845 with Northern Baptists over the right to hold slaves, has grown to accept a diverse array of cultures within its congregation. Once an all-white membership, nearly 20 percent of its current congregation nationwide now is composed of minorities. Until now, however, it has never had an African-American president – Luter himself was the first ever African-American first vice-president of the denomination, appointed in June 2011.
Luter has had a long and turbulent road to rise in the ranks, The Tennessean reported, revealing that when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, his church was destroyed and lost its entire 7,000-member congregation, most of whom fled the city. Three years later, however, the Franklin Avenue Baptist church reopened its doors after help from the entire neighborhood, and now draws 5,000 people for church services. The report goes into detail about Luter's background and upbringing, sharing how a near-fatal motorcycle accident when he was 21 guided him in the right direction toward God. more >>
The season of Lent begins not only for millions of Catholics by having placed a sign of the cross on their foreheads with ash on Wednesday, but with many Christians in and outside of denominations vowing to mark the season with acts of faith.
Though Lent is often seen as part of the Catholic tradition of fasting for 40 days (calculated sometimes to exclude the weekends in the days leading to Easter), many Christians view this time as serving as a reminder to the importance of getting closer to God.
Christine Smith, founder of the online site Womens Bible Cafe, wrote on Tuesday, "Throughout biblical history we see 40 days of testing, waiting and drawing closer to God." more >>
A number of religious figures have stepped up criticizing the 14-minute long YouTube clip of Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church being proclaimed a "king" by a Messianic rabbi.
Rabbi Ralph Messer, during a Jan. 29 service at the Baptist church in Lithonia, Ga., directed assistants to wrap Long in a purportedly 312-year-old priceless Hebrew scroll from World War II, and proclaimed that Long was now "hidden in the word of God." After inviting Long to sit down on a chair and handing him the Torah scroll, four helpers lifted the chair on which Long was sitting and paraded the minister across the podium, while Messer proclaimed him a "king."
Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter's House megachurch in Dallas, Texas, was put on the spot during a theological roundtable Wednesday in regards to his beliefs about the Godhead and why, in some Christian circles, he is considered a "heretic."
Jakes and of a handful of other male Christian leaders were invited to participate in this year's "The Elephant Room" roundtable, hosted and moderated by Pastors James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. The Dallas pastor was hit with several questions about how his theological beliefs have developed, specifically in regard to the Holy Trinity – a controversial issue which The Christian Post reported on in October.
The Potter's House senior pastor denied that he clings to a modalist position, although he confessed that he did at one time in his walk with God. more >>
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Seven influential megachurch pastors took part in live unscripted discussions on different approaches to ministry in the second round of The Elephant Room – an event billed as "conversations you never thought you'd hear" from pastors.
Held in Aurora, Ill., and broadcast to over 70 locations around the U.S., the discussions were mediated by James MacDonald of Chicago's Harvest Bible Chapel and Mark Driscoll of Seattle's Mars Hill Church.
With nondenominational churches growing across the county, the role of denominations and church networks was the first topic discussed. more >>
A collection of 100 documents preserved in the Vatican Secret Archives and never shown to the public will be revealed in a 2012 exhibition titled “Lux In Arcana.” The codices, parchments, strings, and registers, as well as other documentation dating back some 1,300 years, will be on display in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.
The exhibition was organized for the 4th Centenary of the foundation of the Vatican Secret Archives and it aims to explain and describe the papal archives, according to organizers.
What is likely to stir people’s curiosity is a web of theories and legends about the secrets contained within documents maintained by the Vatican. Many filmmakers and fiction writers have fed off those stories, as did Dan Brown in a series of mystery novels, the most famous one being The Da Vinci Code, in which the narrator argues that the Holy See is hiding the truth about Jesus Christ's bloodline. more >>